The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) has announced that its Geospatial Services (NYS Geo) Office has been awarded $123,000 in Federal funds to collect Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data covering Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island this year.

New York State CIO and Director of the state’s Office of Information Technology Services Dru Rai said, “The results speak for themselves – – ITS has created a dedicated team of geospatial experts who provide authoritative GIS data and advice on important issues facing our state. NYS Geo provides critical datasets that form the basis for significant decisions impacting the safety and vitality of New Yorkers and their families.  I congratulate this extraordinary team on their continued good work.”

“We are proud to note that this is ITS’ ninth cooperative agreement with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) totaling more than $1.6 million in Federal Funds awarded to New York State. NYS Geo is leaning in and making a real difference for our residents, our neighborhoods and our communities,” said Elisabetta (Lis) DeGironimo, GISP, NYS Geographic Information Officer.

LiDAR is an airborne remote sensing product used to map the earth’s surface in 3D. LiDAR data and its products have many uses including, but not limited to, flood modeling, shoreline mapping, land management, and evaluating locations for solar panels and other renewable energy systems.

The mission of NYS Geo is to advise the State on the effective use of geospatial technology resulting in tangible benefits to NYS. In the fulfillment of this mission, this office coordinates, maintains and develops statewide framework data including Orthoimagery, Elevation, Streets, Addresses, Civil Boundaries, Public Safety Boundaries, and Parcels. The office also provides New York State with a GIS Web Services platform to help users and application developers access the data. Many State Agencies depend upon NYS Geo to fulfill their critical GIS support needs.

Housed within ITS, NYS Geo was instrumental in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, generating the first COVID maps in the nation, which helped identify underserved and at-risk communities, and small businesses eligible for economic relief.  In addition, their team recently identified more than 31,000 addresses that were initially omitted from the federal broadband map, which increased New York’s eligibility for federal funding by up to 40 percent.

NYS Geo hosts this and other GIS data for download through the NYS GIS Clearinghouse and as web services free to the public.